Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mohegans Express Interest In Atlantic City Casino Site

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Atlantic City officials began soliciting bids yesterday for a roughly 150-acre former airport property that they want to hold casinos in the future.

City officials will allow casino developers to lease the land or purchase the land where the former Bader municipal airport was located. The airport closed in 2005. Due to current economic conditions, leasing the land may allow more potential developers to bid on the property.

According to the Atlantic City Press, "Although the document does not specify what the city considers "substantial," Councilman Dennis Mason, chairman of the city's Planning and Development Committee, said $155 million is what they expect.

One large casino company, MGM Mirage, said yesterday it was no longer interested in the property. Penn National Gaming, the company that sold the Pocono Downs racetrack to the Mohegans, is likely to bid on the property. Penn National offered $800 million for the Bader property in January.

According to the Atlantic City Press, "Mohegan Sun, one of the two gigantic American Indian-owned casinos in Connecticut, said Tuesday it may be interested in Bader Field as part of its expansion plans in the Northeast. Mitchell Etess, Mohegan's chief executive officer, said the Mohegans would take a look at Atlantic City even though the tribe has been focused on possible casino development in Kansas and a proposal for a slots operation at the Aqueduct racetrack in New York."

The Mohegans were elminated from the running to build a casino in Kansas two weeks ago and New York Governor David Paterson did not recommend the Mohegans to operate a proposed slot parlor at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, N.Y.

The Mohegans previously said they may be interested in buying Atlantic City's Tropicana Hotel and Casino but later withdrew as a potential suitor.

The deadline for casino developers to submit proposals is January 14.